The Child Welfare League Foundation yesterday said its latest survey showed one in five students gets bullied by peers more than three times a month, a problem that occurs not only in the real world, but also in cyberspace.
In a survey conducted last month, the foundation asked 1,516 fifth and sixth grade students and 1,212 junior high school students about bullying in school.
Slightly less than 19 percent of respondents said they were often bullied by peers in the form of exclusion, physical abuse, threats and sexual harassment in the past two months.
Another 10.7 percent of respondents admitted to bullying or verbally abusing fellow students during the same period.
The foundation said the problem of bullying at school had worsened in recent years. About 14 percent of those who say they have been bullied said they did not like to go to school as a result of the bullying, while more than one in every four victims of bullying said they had contemplated suicide, the survey showed.
Asked how their classmates treated unpopular students, more than half of respondents said they were bullied, while a third said they were indifferent to acts of bullying.
The most common type of bullying (76.7 percent) involved social exclusion, using methods such as “keeping a distance,” “spreading rumors or gossip” and “playing jokes.”
Other common forms of bullying included verbal abuse such as making fun of victims or calling them names. Physical abuse, including instances where -weapons were involved, accounted for about 10 percent of all cases of bullying, the foundation said.
The survey also found that bullying over the Internet or by cellphone was becoming increasingly common. About 17 percent of students surveyed said they had participated in online bullying, of which the most common form was to send or post -threatening or abusive words or pictures on victims’ blogs or instant messaging services.
About 10 percent of the students said they had been victims of such cyberspace attacks, the survey showed.
“Bullying can result in trauma or other mental conditions and the effects of bullying can continue well into the future, even when the actual bullying has stopped,” foundation executive director Alicia Wang (王育敏) said.
The foundation called on the government, schools and parents to pay attention to the increased bullying and said those seeking help can call the toll-free hotline on 0800-003-123.